Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Joanne Weir's Cooking Class|
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational
This unforgettable, wryly original series of cooking lessons features real-world students working side-by-side with her in her own kitchen in San Francisco. ¬"Joanne Weir¬?s Cooking Class¬" invites viewers to share frie... more »
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An informative and entertaining cooking collection.
R. Nicholson | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful culinary series!
This is a set of four DVDs that contain various recipes of just about every conceivable type of food offering; there is beef, seafood, chicken, lamb, pasta, bread, soups, sauces, pizza, desserts and salads.
I initially saw some of these episodes on PBS TV where each show would encompass a ½ hour cooking class. Because I love to cook I became very interested in this series and eventually decided to purchase all four discs; there are many positive features to be found here (and a couple of niggling negatives as well)...let me elaborate a little.
1.) Each disc has 6 or 7 main themes; within each "theme" there are several "complimentary" dishes that go with the main recipe. e.g. If the main topic was seafood, the lesson might include a salad, sauce or dessert to go with the main course.
2.) Most shows have a brief discussion on wine; usually in context of what vintage might be most appropriate for the meal being prepared.
3.) Each show features Joanne Weir with a guest student who helps her prepare the food choice of the day. What quickly becomes evident is that both Joanne and the student (with one exception) really love to cook and prepare food. If there is one thing that comes shining through in these lessons, it is the atmosphere created by people doing what they love and loving what they do; this positive attitude towards cooking really make the shows fun to watch.
4.) These cooking classes are really a hands on learning experience for the students and this is a real asset to the viewer of the DVD. In the course of the food preparation, the student and Joanne often discuss a host of culinary topics that result in lots of cooking tips and technique suggestions; these are just little nuggets of cooking information that are just not obtainable from reading a recipe from paper.
5.) Each recipe is printable on a home computer; there are about 70 recipes available is this series.
6.) Technically, the discs were professionally filmed and edited, with one exception, [see Cons: 4.) below], resulting in a superior DVD product that to me, was very reasonably priced.
1.) There is no printed list or index of all the different recipes that are used in this cooking series. Finding a specific recipe will take some searching in the electronic folders of the DVD itself. [see 2.) below]
2.) The recipes are not viewable on your TV set. There are, however, two ways to view and print the recipes that are on the disc; both require a computer with a DVD player.
a.) while at your computer, go to the drive icon in which you have inserted the DVD, right click, press "explore", and you will find an "index" icon that will take you to a website that contains all the recipes and you can print them from there.
b.) similarly, there is also a "pdf" folder that contains the recipes and they are printable from there. However, once you are into this folder, the name beneath each recipe icon is poorly illustrated, so it makes finding the exact recipe you want a little more difficult than what it needs to be.
3.) Some of the ingredients used, may not be available in all areas.( but in fairness to Joanne, she was aware of this and often suggests substitutions)
4.) On my set of discs, the lesson on "Handmade Pasta" (disc "C") cut off after only 8 minutes and exited to the credits; lets hope this was a problem unique to my DVDs and not a defect on all disc "C"s.
The first 3 concerns I've mentioned above are really more of an inconvenience; the 4th a little more serious. However, I was still very pleased with the overall quality of instruction and the highly professional way the series was produced.
Conclusion...A useful, well presented cooking series; if you love cooking and if the kitchen is a place of comfort and good vibrations for you, then these DVDs will be a welcome addition in your home. 5+ Stars!
Easily the worst cooking show I've seen...
Lucus Peters | 10/09/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The premise of this show is pairing a person inexperienced with cooking with Joanne Weir, a Famous Chef and Author. They will not only learn a recipe from a real cook, but more importantly, gain confidence in their own abilities. On paper, this is a fantastic idea, and it probably would have benefited from a different host -- wouldn't it be great to get the enthusiasm of Mario Batali, the casualness of Ming Tsai, or the well planned everything-in-its-place recipes of Bridget Lancaster from America's Test Kitchen?
Unfortunately, the host is Joanne Weir, who seems to relish passively-aggressively crushing any joy in learning. She feels the need to touch everything that the student made, adjusting it millimeters straighter and therefore perfect. She seems to wait for the student to try and pronounce a confusing French or Italian word, as opposed to just telling them in the first place. And in one episode, she was claiming you should always whip eggs in a copper bowl -- a stand mixer isn't as good. On what planet do people who are new to cooking need to buy a (colossally expensive) copper bowl to beat egg whites?
With a better teacher, her students and viewers would be able to enjoy time in the kitchen. As it stands, I would imagine she's frightened interested newbies off."
Superb Educational Experience for Jazzing Up Your Repertoire
R. Ruiz | San Francisco, CA | 05/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the cooking shows I've seen, this is the one that really made me want to get in there and try one recipe after another. Joanne Weir has a terrific, easygoing, onscreen presence, and she clearly knows her stuff (which means you'll know YOUR stuff, simply by watching). Also, unlike Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame (whom I LOVE) Ms. Weir's food actually tastes good (I'm convinced by now that after trying one recipe after another that Ina Garten is more of an assembler than an inspired cook, but I love her anyway).
While some of the reviewers here mentioned the students were annoying, I found only ONE of them to be annoying, and for the most part this device worked (in that you'll learn easily in a conversational style rather than trying to actively commit things to memory as you go along).
As for the problem with Disc C during the pasta episode, I had the same problem but received a replacement disc from the company and the problem has now been resolved.
Overall this is a can't miss series, and I especially love it for the interesting sauces (we're not talking old, stuffy, French sauces here, but zingy modern wonders). 26 episodes for this price is a real bargain. I'm very pleased with my purchase and expect you will be too."
Amanda D. | USA | 10/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rented this DVD set from my local library and didn't want to return it! There was so much helpful information in it, I decided to buy the whole set for myself.
I really enjoy cooking, but have limited knowledge of how to prepare certain ingredients, e.g. fennel, beets, and artichokes. I also learned how to make a risotto and how to wedge citrus fruit.
I'm not sure I'll make these exact recipes, but I learned a lot about food preparation.
I have to agree with a previous poster about the mild annoyance of the 'interviews' with the student. However, it certainly does not take away from the amount of knowledge you can gain by watching the shows.
Overall, this is a great beginner/intermediate class!"